Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It's odd how people typecast certain breeds of dog: Rottweilers are "bad," Doberman Pinschers are "mean," Chihuahuas are "sweet," etc. I've even heard people describe German Shepherds as "furry time-bombs, who all turn on their masters." Most people who have owned a dog from a much-maligned breed are probably rolling their eyes by this point, because that kind of predjudice is so prevalent, and often so far off the mark. (Bet you didn't know that our 4-month-old puppy, Rufus, was "scary" and "mean" - we sure didn't until someone told me so. Rufus still hasn't figured out that he is.)

Well, Bernie wants to set the record straight on all the bad press that the American Pit Bull Terrier has been getting of late. He's friendly, polite, affectionate and eager to please. I approached his kennel yesterday, and he was so happy to see me he began hopping up in the air like an excited terrier (which, as the name "Pit Bull Terrier" suggests, isn't much of a stretch). I got to his door, and he greeted me with a tail wag so vigorous it shook his whole body. He sat for me to put his leash on, and waited excitedly - but not even once did he try to jump up on me.

So next we went outside. Bernie sometimes pulled on his leash a little, or began to dash in the direction of something fascinating, but always returned to my side when I reminded him we were walking together. Walking around on his own in the play yard, he wasn't too clingy nor too distant. He just seemed happy. Bernie decided it was time to head back in when one of the Animal Control officers pulled up and parked nearby. He wasn't afraid or intimidated, mind you; he just really wanted to go over and say hello, and make sure the officer had received his daily quota of tail wags.

Bernie didn't really want to go back into his kennel, but acquiesced so I could go and feed everyone. Apparently, food is another great love of his (having seen him tuck in for a meal).

NOTE: I will try to have more/better photos of Bernie tomorrow, weather permitting. Today, I was petting him and he yelped twice when I ruffled his right ear - he might have an injury that doesn't show readily, or he might just be shy about his ears. Regardless, he was very composed and non-aggressive when it happened, which is a very good thing. And I'll try to follow his cue, and not ruffle his ears anymore.

UPDATE: Bernie had an afternoon of walking, being held, kissed, sung to and even got to try and curl his long body on Sophie's lap while he took a brief nap. He was showing signs of illness and was euthanized this evening. He went for his last walk with his tail wagging and knowing he was important and that somebody loved him very much.

1 comment:

Tajana and Almir said...

You guys are angels. Thanks for doing this. In as much as hurts to hear that the dogs were euthanized by humans, it is wonderful to see that YOU care and try doing something to help them find a home. We adopted 2 from the Irving shelter and one from Carrollton and love them dearly.